Bad effects of alcohol include damage to the liver, heart, stomach and intestines, reproductive system, the brain and mind. Alcohol creates a short-lived sense of euphoria, at the same time poisoning and damaging you.
Effects of Alcohol on the Body’s Systems
Liver: Long-term heavy alcohol use can lead to liver damage, usually fatty liver disease. The liver metabolizes proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, produces bile, and neutralizes toxins in the body. To neutralize alcohol, its toxins are first converted into acetaldehyde and then acetate in the liver; during this process, fat accumulates in the liver cells and starts to impair their function. Prolonged consumption of alcohol can cause alcoholic hepatitis (inflammation and destruction of liver cells), and then cirrhosis – irreversible changes in the liver tissue.
Heart: Short-term effects of alcohol on the heart include both increased and irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure. Long-term consumption weakens the heart and can cause alcoholic cardiomyopathy – a condition when the heart cannot pump blood efficiently and body organs become malnourished and damaged. Long-term bad effects of drinking alcohol on the heart include an increased risk of heart attack.
Stomach and Intestines: Short-term effects of alcohol on the stomach and intestines are conditions such as vomiting and diarrhea, indigestion and loss of appetite. Long-term effects include atrophy of the stomach and small intestine and malnutrition caused by hindered absorption of nutrients and vitamins (especially vitamin B1). Alcohol can also cause stomach ulcers. In the worst case, it can lead to potentially fatal pancreatitis because of the damage it may cause to the pancreas – the gland that produces insulin to process sugar in alcohol.
Reproductive System: The reproductive system is affected in both sexes. For men, it can be a lowered performance, impotence and infertility. For females, it can be menstrual problems and an increased risk of breast cancer. High levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can be catastrophic for the child – the newborn baby may have severe growth and developmental issues (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome).
Brain: The first few sips of alcohol will cause you to feel euphoric and relaxed. As you keep drinking, it starts to impair your judgment, concentration, reaction and memory. It can also dangerously lower your sensitivity to pain.
In the long term, heavy drinking of alcohol can breach brain functions (due to thiamine deficiency), and may eventually lead to alcoholic encephalopathy. Alcoholic encephalopathy is a very serious disorder characterized by memory loss, mental issues, hallucinations and the degeneration of nerve fibers.
Another severe complication is alcoholic epilepsy-like seizures. In contrast to genuine epilepsy, alcoholic seizures only happen during withdrawal. These seizures can be very detrimental to the body and the brain.
Mind: Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that may cause you to feel down. Other bad effects of drinking alcohol for the mind include anxiety, stress, restlessness, sleep disturbances, fear, mood swings and exhaustion. Later it can lead to severe personality changes, such as aggression, a narrowed range of interests, self-centeredness and irresponsible behavior.
The most severe alcohol-induced mental disorder is alcoholic delirium (delirium tremens – DT’s). As a rule, delirium tremens starts with sleep disturbances after an abrupt withdrawal. Symptoms include tremor, palpitations, sweating, insomnia, restlessness, overwhelming fear, and vivid visual and auditory hallucinations. The sufferer loses touch with reality and can even become a danger to themselves and society.
Make Changes with Alcohol
In order to stop these bad effects on you, please purchase your copy of the Give up Alcohol Course which has been specially designed to help you stop drinking or moderate your alcohol consumption.